Utah Utes football notebook: Eric Weddle had a message for U. vs. SDSU
Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News
When Utah cornerback Brandon Burton emerged from the locker room after halftime of Saturday's 38-34 win over San Diego State, the junior was intercepted by former Ute All-American Eric Weddle.
The San Diego Chargers safety had something to share with Burton.
"Basically what he said was 'get the defense going, go out there and make plays, just do what you know how to do. Relax, you know you're the best at it,'" Burton recalled. "And I just went out there and tried to do what I had to do and the defense, we all backed each other up. We all had each other's backs and we went out and made plays."
After allowing San Diego State quarterback Ryan Lindley to complete 24-of-34 passes for 321 yards and three touchdowns in the first half, the Utes limited him to 12 completions and 207 yards in the decisive second half — 90 of which came on a touchdown pass to Vincent Brown that was deflected by Utah defenders.
"This is college football," Weddle said. "You've got to overcome the adversity, test your character."
Utah wound up intercepting Lindley three times, including a pick by Burton late in the first half that set up a pivotal "Hail Mary" touchdown on the final play.
"We're looking forward to the game this week. No conference championship implications or anything of that nature involved, but it's still rivalry week. An intense game is what we expect, as always. Our guys are excited about the opportunity to play in front of the home crowd and have a chance to line-up and play in this game again." Kyle Whittingham, Utah coach, end zone
Utah has won three of the past four games against BYU at Rice-Eccles Stadium, prevailing by an average score of 24-15. The biggest victories came in the BCS-busting seasons of 2004 and 2008 when the Utes triumphed by scores of 52-21 and 48-24.
A source close to the situation says Utah's postseason options are down to the Las Vegas or Independence bowls. It all depends on whether or not TCU is invited to the BCS ... Fans attending the football game may use their tickets stubs for free admission to the men's basketball game against Oral Roberts at 7 p.m. ... Whittingham said that kicker Joe Phillips, who earned Mountain West Conference Special Teams Player of the Week honors by handling the placekicking, punting and kickoff duties against San Diego State, may once again see triple duty. "Everything's a competition and Joe did exceptionally well last week in practice," Whittingham said. "So we'll re-evaluate that after Thursday's practice and make that decision at that point and time."
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